'Angel Tree' program to reach hundreds

A late surge of giving has allowed the local Salvation Army to help almost as many “angels” as it did last Christmas.Around 400 area seniors and children and more than 100 needy families will receive holiday gifts through this year's Salvation Army Angel Tree program. That figure is slightly below 2011 totals, Angel Tree Coordinator Ada Lafler said.During the program's run, trees were placed at several locations throughout Big Spring. On those trees were cards inscribed with a child's or senior's name and gift request. People then took the cards, purchased gifts for the “angel” and give the items to Salvation Army personnel.Although totals from this season are slightly behind last year's, SA social worker Bessie Flores said a final tally isn't complete.“We still have a lot of angel cards out there,” she said. “We're waiting to see if people will fill out the gift requests, so we're hoping we'll have some more gifts to give out.”Lafler said the program provides a tremendous boost to the spirits of those in need this season.“Many of these children feel like society — and even life — has given up on them. That's a tough position to handle when you're only 10 or 11 years old,” Lafler said. “This program, however, offers them a reminder that people still care.“It shows them that even though most people are caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of the world, especially during the holiday season, they are still taking time and money from of their own lives and giving them a reason to wake up Christmas morning with a smile. No child should ever have to wake up Christmas morning without a gift under the tree.”Although the formal deadline for the program has passed, persons can still donate gifts this Christmas. For more information, call 432-267-8239 or stop by the Salvation Army office, located at 811 W Fifth St.